2024 Conference - Waikato University 25th - 27th November - call for abstracts now open


The Quantitative Studies in Education SIG is a community of researchers, policymakers, and educators from diverse fields with a shared interest in promoting the NZARE’s broad research focus and who are committed to excellent research involving quantitative studies that are underpinned by the scientific method in Aotearoa New Zealand and the broader Pacific region.

The SIG adopts a lens under which empiricism is the basis for the acquisition of generalisable knowledge. It advocates for the rigorous collection and quantitative analysis of data, focusing on objectivity, replicability, and generalisability. Its mission is to foster systematic and scientific investigation of educational phenomena and processes.

The SIG welcomes mixed-methods research, provided there is a rigorous quantitative component.

Our core aims are:

1. To cultivate an arena for the development and dissemination of high-quality, empirical and/or theory-based research in education that draws on causal and correlational methodologies;

2. To facilitate contact and collaboration among our members, including advanced and early career researchers, postgraduate and undergraduate students; policymakers and the Ministry of Education; and, other interested parties such as educators, principals, and community members;

3. To organise relevant activities (e.g., conference presentations, thematic symposia, and workshops) that support excellence in education research using quantitative research; and

4. To participate in and contribute to education policy changes in Aotearoa New Zealand through evidence-based, larger-scale, and more generalisable research.

We encourage our SIG members to advance this mission by striving to meet the highest research standards regarding originality, theoretical founding, and methodological rigour. Closely connected to these aims, as a community of researchers and scholars, we strive to advance research-informed teaching and learning practices in education.

2024 Co-Convenors

Tanya Evans

Dr Tanya Evans is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics, where she leads the Mathematics Education Unit. Her research focus is on mathematics education, and she is involved in exploring innovative approaches to assessment and pedagogical techniques. Her work is informed by research in cognitive science and educational psychology. Tanya employs diverse methodological approaches, including qualitative, quantitative and mixed-method studies.

Valerie Sotardi

Dr Valerie Sotardi is Senior Lecturer of Educational Psychology and Quantitative Research. Her research focuses on (a) identifying diverse settings in which young people experience stress and anxiety (including school and the classroom); (b) evaluating how these experiences shape the attitudes, emotions, self-perceptions, and well-being of young people; and (c) designing evidence-based programmes that can help young people cope effectively with stress and anxiety. She adopts a range of methodological approaches, including mixed-method studies. She is the founder of the NZ Learning, Achievement, & Motivated Behaviour (LAMB) research group, a team of academics, researchers, and students who are interested in conducting research on educational and community psychology.

Robyn Caygill

Robyn is Chief Advisor in Te Pou Kaupapahere (Policy). Robyn started her career as a secondary maths teacher. When investigating that perennial question “where is this maths used in the real world?” she accidentally fell into her second career in research. Not surprisingly she did a lot of research in maths education and outcomes for learners, but her work spanned the curriculum and age groups from primary through into secondary. Her work included the large-scale national and international studies: NEMP, PIRLS, PISA, and TIMSS. Robyn was National Research Coordinator for TIMSS from 2006 to 2018. After a secondment to policy, where she discovered how her research was used, she began her third career in the policy group in the Ministry.